Market promotes local businesses instead of ‘big-box stores’

Market promotes local businesses instead of ‘big-box stores’
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On Black Friday, some shoppers opted to support local businesses over big, commercial ones at the annual Madison Makers Black Friday Market and Pub-Crawl.

In its third year, the market celebrated local artists and venues at different breweries in Madison. Owner and operator of the market David Van said the market supported the local economy.

“This is such an amazing thing,” Van said. “You know, there are all these big huge box stores that are all over the place and reaping profits and giving nothing back to anybody for it. Every single person who sells something around here, every single maker lives around here.”

He said in Madison, people have a strong sense of value and appreciation for people who make and produce things and try to share them with others. So, unlike other craft fairs, this one is focused on the vendors themselves and how to make them successful.

Van said the vendors at the market were all people whom the community can connect with.

“These are all people you know,” Van said. “These are people you run into at the grocery store, at church, at the bar downtown. These are all people that you can relate to and associate with. And this is never something you’re going to appreciate at a big-box store.”

While customers were paying it forward to local business owners, some owners were doing the same by giving a portion of their profits to charity.

“I think big businesses, they don’t really contribute anything,” Van said. “They don’t really give back.”

Van said he hopes the market will start giving money to charity, just like some vendors. He said the market will continue to run in future years, still on Black Friday, and he plans to expand the number of vendors at the market.

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